Our Aims and Objectives

We are the UK association for all those who research, study and teach global development issues

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What is Development Studies

What is development studies and decolonising development.

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Our Members

We have around 1,000 members, made up of individuals and around 40 institutions

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Find out about our constitution, how we are run and meet our Council

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Meet our Council members and other staff who support the running of DSA

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The DSA Conference is an annual event which brings together the development studies community

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Our conference this year is themed "Social justice and development in a polarising world"

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Past Conferences

Find out about our previous conferences

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Study Groups

Our Study Groups offer a chance to connect with others who share your areas of interest

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Students and ECRs

Students and early career researchers are an important part of our community

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Our book series with OUP and our relationship with other publishers

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North-South Research

A series of workshops exploring North-South interdisciplinary research with key messages and reports

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Membership Directory

Find out who our members are, where they are based and the issues they work on

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Case studies in NGO & researcher collaboration: Slum Dwellers International

SDI is a global network of slum dwellers driving a collective, bottom-up change agenda for inclusive and resilient cities, with experience working with researchers to achieve change including with the African Cities Research Consortium and the Covid Collective. Beth Chitekwe-Biti, the Director of the secretariat of Slum Dwellers International spoke to us about the important of community collaboration when researchers start thinking of collaborating with NGOs. Watch the video.

We share SDIs’ case studies of collaborating with research institutions.

SDI and the African Cities Research Consortium

Led by The University of Manchester, the African Cities Research Consortium comprises research institutions, policy think tanks, civil society organisations and community-based researchers with a long history of helping to understand, facilitate and create positive change for African urban residents.

Community knowledge: pushing the frontiers of research in Harare: Democratising research processes has long been a contested subject. While co-production of knowledge presents vast opportunities for positive development outcomes, urban research processes often continue to exclude and marginalise vulnerable groups. In instances where attempts at inclusion have been made, they have largely been tokenistic, with communities coming in merely as data collectors. The African Cities Research Consortium (ACRC) is reconsidering urban research processes through a community knowledge approach. Read more.

Fostering resilient and inclusive urban development in Freetown: SDI affiliates were part of a workshop which unpacked challenges and opportunities related to the politics of urban reform and the systems approach to city services. Read more.

Action research: Co-creating sustainable solutions to critical challenges in African cities: It is envisioned that action research projects based on co-design, and co-production will build new knowledge and test innovative solutions, to address critical complex challenges in African cities. The action research seeks to catalyse urban transformation and urban reforms, including enhancing service delivery and equitable local governance systems. Read more.

SDI and the COVID Collective

Supported by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, the Covid Collective is based at the Institute of Development Studies.

Community mapping in Kenya improves state Covid-19 response: This case study shows how an urban social movement was able to produce the knowledge that state agencies needed when the pandemic struck, securing more inclusive policy responses and building legitimacy for alternative knowledge processes and associated development ambitions. Read more.

COVID-19 vaccine rollout: data from informal settlements in Harare, Kampala, Lilongwe and Mumbai: This field note, drawing on surveys from informal settlements in Harare, Kampala, Lilongwe and Mumbai between August and November 2021 by national affiliates of Slum Dwellers International (SDI), provides a snapshot of how global vaccine inequalities have played out across these cities.  Read more.

Covid Collective: Social Science Research for Covid-19 Action: Read about SDI and other NGOs working with research institutes during the pandemic. Read more.

Uncovering experiences of Covid-19 vaccination programmes in informal settlements: Young people living in informal settlements in Harare and Kampala have begun documenting their own lives and the lives of others in their neighbourhoods. What have people gone through in the past two years and where are they now? Read more.


ARISE is led by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and funded by the UK Research and Innovation’s Global Challenges Research Fund,

Medical camps as research tools: Medical camps have worked as a ‘research tool’, offering insights and learning around health issues in particular localities, and knowledge on areas of intervention to strengthen public health more broadly.  Read more.

Community-led monitoring and evaluation: Organizations use different monitoring and evaluation tools and frameworks to learn from experience and improve practice and activities. However, these monitoring and evaluation systems/frameworks frequently fail to provide scalable solutions for aggregating results on a regular basis. Read more.

Why is safeguarding during data collection important: Safeguarding during data collection is key as it helps in building a good rapport between the community members and co-researchers aiding to foster trust among the co-researcher and the respondents. Read more.

Learning Exchange: Community Empowerment to Address Health-Related Injustices in Low-Income Communities: Nicera Wanjiru writes about a recent successful knowledge exchange between ARISE colleagues in Kenya and Sierra Leone, where many different approaches were shared including utilising physical addressing systems, savings culture and the ripple effect of community mapping. Read more.

A research journey that brought power theories to life: Lessons from Korogocho, Kenya. Maria M. Muthoki, Veronicah Mwania and Beate Ringwald report back on the Korogocho ALIV[H]E study which involved four researchers (three Kenyans and one European) and eleven community co-researchers from Korogocho. A participatory research journey that brought power theories to life and changed all who worked on it. Read more.

More resources on collaboration: